Charles Ferguson’s brilliant documentary Inside Job may be the most important movie of the year. It is a harsh but fair explanation of the misdeeds that led to the recent near-collapse of the global financial system. Unexpectedly, the film begins in Iceland, setting the stage for the collapse and kicking off the easily understandable explanations of the various tricks and bamboozles that have hidden behind their own complexity.
Like this year’s other best documentaries, The Tillman Story. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work and Sweetwater, Inside Job gets out of its own way and just lets the story speak for itself. There is no need for a Michael Moore to portray the financial sector as criminally greedy and reckless – the facts speak for themselves and the audience can be trusted to “get it”. At the showing I attended, there was general applause at the end.
Besides the obvious villains at the investment banks (Goldman Sachs, etc.) , the insurers of credit default swaps (like AIG) and the rating agencies (e.g., Moody’s), Ferguson also takes aim at these thieves’ political enablers and economist apologists. There are some 60 Minutes-style ambushes, but they are far less interesting for the squirming of the subjects than for exposing the completely clueless entitlement of the financial sector and its governmental and academic lackeys.
Inside Job exposes our Wall Street government, and is unflinchingly bipartisan in meting out the blame.
Matt Damon narrates.